Manse murder: Claim suspects met in jail

2012-11-12 18:48
Martin Brits and Elliot Mhlambi (Picture: OFM)

Martin Brits and Elliot Mhlambi (Picture: OFM)

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Johannesburg - Two men, one of them the son of a murdered clergyman, appeared in the Harrismith Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Martin Brits, 28, and Elliot Mhlambi, 41, face charges relating to the murder of Dutch Reformed Church reverend Willem Brits, 60, in Harrismith on Thursday.

His future son-in-law Gerhard Vermeulen, 25, was also killed in the attack in the reverend's home.

According to OFM the two suspects met each other in prison in Frankfort, where Martin did time for fraud. The details of Mhlambi's criminal record are unknown to police at this stage.

Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said the men were not asked to plead. Mhlambi requested legal aid.

Mophiring, says Martin is expected to submit an admission of guilt soon, but not Mhlambi, according to OFM.

The cleric was in the living room with his wife, his son and Vermeulen when three intruders entered.

The assailants locked Martin Brits in the bathroom. He was not hurt.

Vermeulen was shot in the head and died on the scene. The reverend was wounded and was taken to hospital where he died on Friday morning.

His 59-year-old wife Dorothea was also taken to hospital, and was treated for injuries.

OFM reported that she remains in a critical condition in the Bloemfontein Mediclinic.

Mhlambi was arrested on Friday when police found him walking on the N3 in bloodied clothes.

He was found in possession of five cellphones and an unlicensed firearm. One of the phones belonged to the family.

Martin Brits, who was reportedly an adopted son of the murdered clergyman, was arrested on Friday after a lengthy police interrogation.

Both men will remain behind bars until their next appearance on 19 November.

Mhlambi faces charges of murder, attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and robbery.

- SAPA
Read more on:    martin brits  |  willem brits  |  bloemfontein
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